Sunday, January 22, 2017

Off Topic: What The Women's March Meant To Me

The internet has been ablaze with arguments for and against Saturday's Women's March. Many people were for it, stating that it shows solidarity amongst women, and others said that participants need to get over it and deal with the fact that Trump is president. While I do lean to one side of the spectrum on this, I think there is some perspective that needs to be addressed.

I did not see the Women's March as a solely anti-Trump march.

Sure, some people marched in protest of Donald Trump and his policies. Many did. But others marched to protect special interests (education, gun control, women's rights, etc.). Everyone had their reasons, whether they were broad or narrow, angry or peaceful. What's important is that people showed that they care what is happening in America and the world, and that the people cannot be ignored.

I do not think people marched hoping for a miracle. I would say that most people are reasonable enough to understand that one march will not magically change history and make Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders the president. But showing that the people are engaged in politics sends a bold statement to all current and future political leaders: We are watching. We have rights. Our voices matter. You can't ignore the people; we have the ability to step up and share our thoughts and opinions. As an elected official, whether or not you agree with us, you are going to be aware of our existence.

Part of America's success is that we have differing opinions and we're allowed to share them. That's why there are checks and balances in government. We are a democracy. We are not always going to agree, but we have the opportunity to be heard. Let's be proud of that and exercise our right to stand up for what we believe in, even if it's not included in the final outcome.

Something to think about: while discussing Planned Parenthood, a friend who supports it made a valid point. She's a strong supporter but she's never had to use it. Why? Because many women who need it don't have the time or resources to fight for it. They may have been working on Saturday or busy watching their kids because they couldn't find childcare. My friend utilized the walk to walk for those who could not, because America isn't just about those with a voice - it's about those who can't speak for themselves as well. And if we can help those people, we absolutely should.

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